- Subfamily: Lithocolletinae
- Wingspan: 06-09 mm
- Flight period: Apr - Oct
- Spread: Common
- Host plants: Populus sp.
The Phyllonorycter populifoliella is a small moth of the Gracillariidae family, subfamily Lithocolletinae, with a wingspan of 06-09 mm.
In Europe it is present almost everywhere, it is absent from Ireland, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Croatia and Norway. *
In Italy it is absent from the islands. *
Its range extends to the Palearctic area. ****
The adults of Phyllonorycter populifoliella have a the front wings in grayish white background color, with a brown pattern which is often rather indistinct, composed of three to four costal and three dorsal striae, the entire anterior wing is mottled with scattered brown scales.
The hind wings are white with a silky appearance, strongly fringed like the front ones. The head is gray-white with a tuft of whitish and brown hairs.
Bivoltine the adults of this moth are visible in April and May and subsequently in August and September, but these periods change according to the latitude.
The species hibernates at the pupal stage, within the cocoon woven within the fallen leaf in the ground.
The oval tent-shaped mine on the underside of the leaf, most often between two secondary ribs and is mainly located near the base of the leaf. No distinct longitudinal central folds, but some faint folds close to each other are visible.
The top of the mine tends to turn yellow, initially with a green island in the center, but in the last stage it is completely yellowish in color. The slag is concentrated in a corner of the mine. ***
The larva is whitish with an ocher head, the posterior half may be intensely colored yellow. **
The larvae are oligophagus and feed on This miner is a narrow oligophagus that develops on 12 species of the genus Populus of the Salicaceae family: Populus alba, Populus balsamifera, Populus deltoides, Populus koreana, Populus laurifolia, Populus maximowiczii, Populus nigra, Populus pseudosimonii, Populus simonii, Populus suaveolens, Populus thalassica and Populus tremula. ****
* Lepidoptera mundi https://lepidoptera.eu/ - Fauna Europea https://fauna-eu.org/
** Bestimmungshilfe für die in Europa nachgewiesenen Schmetterlingsarten - http://lepiforum.de/
*** Plant Parasites of Europe leafminers, galls and fungi - https://bladmineerders.nl/
**** Trophic Specialization of the Poplar Leafminer Phyllonorycter populifoliella (Treitschke, 1833) (Lepidoptera, Gracillariidae) - https://www.researchgate.net/